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The DIRT for November 5-9, 2018

October 26th Wikipedia Edit-a-Thon Makes Dent in Newspaper Data Voids

Written by Bob Cole

A brief note of gratitude to the approximately thirty faculty, staff, and students who joined us Friday, October 26th for our first bi-coastal Newspapers on Wikipedia “NOW” Project Edit-a-Thon! The event was held simultaneously in the Wilson Media Lab at the College in Vermont and at the Digital Learning Commons at the Institute in Monterey, California. A handful of Edit-a-thon hosts (DLINQ staff, interns, and Middlebury librarians) at each site greeted guest editors with “I e.d.i.t. Wikipedia” shirts and were available to assist participants in conducting additional research, editing draft pages, and creating info boxes. Amy Collier kicked off the event with a brief overview of the Newspapers on Wikipedia Project and walked everyone through guidelines for making contributions to Wiki pages. As Amy noted in a recent blog post, the potential impact of the NOW Project is three-fold: we are filling problematic data voids to improve Wikipedia as a baseline for future fact checking; we are diversifying the voices of Wikipedia editors; and we are teaching and learning about critical digital literacies.

The initial goal of the edit-a-thon was to make significant contributions to Wikipedia for historical news sources in Vermont and central California. The results are in, and we’re really excited to announce that the our combined efforts in Monterey, Middlebury and beyond with our networked friends around the country have contributed to an additional thirty eight Wikipedia pages featuring previously invisible historical news sources like the King City Rustler and La Oferta in Monterey County, and the Stowe Reporter or the Killington Mountain Times in the areas surrounding Middlebury. In addition to research based pages, the team is also adding wikidata references to help visualize newspapers that need attention and those that have been created. Check out the interactive wikidata map below. The red dots indicate a locale where a news source is without its own Wikipedia page, and the blue dots represent news sources that have a Wikipedia presence.

While the four hour edit-a-thon was a great success, as you can see by all of the red dots in the map above, we have our work cut out for us! Data voids on the web remain a wicked problem within our digital information spheres. Undeterred, our team and those affiliated with our pilot Information Environmentalism Studio are committed to working on the project by attending to newspapers that need attention in our immediate regions. Get in touch with us if you’d like to learn more or get involved.


Teaching Online & Hybrid Conversation Series Building Momentum

Written by Bob Cole

On Monday, October 29th, DLINQ welcomed Dr. Whitney Kilgore for our second Online and Hybrid Conversation Series session, Humanizing Online Teaching and Learning. Building off her research, Dr. Kilgore facilitated a an engaging conversation with Middlebury faculty and staff that surfaced concrete practices and tools for designing humanizing elements into our blended, online and hybrid courses.

For those unable to join the discussion, we recorded introductory remarks as well as Dr. Kilgore’s brief slideshow that helped to frame the discussion. This video, as well as notes captured from the session (which include links to resources), may be accessed on the Teaching Hybrid & Online Initiative page on the DLINQ website.

We invite you to register and join us for our upcoming events in the series:

Teaching Online & Hybrid Faculty Conversation Series #3: Middlebury Faculty Panel on Course Development Process, Experience, and Tips (Wednesday, 11/14/18 – 12:15-1:30 pm PT – online via Zoom).

Teaching Online & Hybrid Faculty Conversation Series #4: Building a Community of Learners Online With Dr. Bonnie Stewart (Monday, 12/3/18 – 12:15-1:30 pm PT – online via Zoom).


Dig Deeper:

“Clay can be dirt in the wrong hands, but clay can be art in the right hands.”
-Lupita Nyong’o


Featured Image by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

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